BCI forbids internships outside university vacations

Prachi Kumari

On 11 September, 2014 The Bar Council of India (BCI) send a letter to the registrars and heads of all law schools, and to the secretaries of all state bar councils and has directed law schools to forbid their students from undertaking internships outside of their university vacations.

The BCI wrote: “It is noticed that some of the Universities/Colleges are sending their students for internship during academic session. The students can only take internship during the vacation (academic session is not on). The Universities/Colleges are directed that henceforth they should send their students for internship to the Law Firms, Senior Advocates only when there is a vacation of Universities/Colleges.”

According to BCI secretary Jogi Ram Sharma, “As per university rules students are supposed to go on internships. But when the academic session is on, if few go for internship, while the rest are having classes, how will the shortage of students in a lecture be accounted [for]? So all students should go for internships together during the vacations and not turn by turn.”

It appears that law students have adopted the tendency of collecting more and more internship certificates. In this era of cut throat competition, every student is apprehensive about his/her career and job. Since companies, during placement, prefer those candidates who are having work experience, students take their internships as grand addition to their CV. Therefore they run after it even during academic sessions. Although practical knowledge broadens our concept, a balancing approach is required to be adopted. Knowledge of law is equally important in order to apply it. Internship during academic session takes the time away from students and affects intense study. Subsequently, they study only at the time of examination for the sake of obtaining marks. This is alarming situation, because country requires a large number of well- versed lawyers in order to settle down thousands of pending cases. This is why; BCI is concerned about this tendency of avoiding classes for the sake of internships.

I think this new direction will bring a balancing phenomenon, where every student can have equal number of internships and no one will have to give up his/her classes in order to compete other in number game of internships. Hopefully, law students will attend their classes even after fulfilling minimum attendance criteria.

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